Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Publication Date: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

A fresh new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren that will rock your world.

Twelve years ago, tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a small number of students survived, a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who Got Away.

Now, web designer Liv Arias, along with the rest of the survivors, have returned to the small Texas town to tell their stories for a documentary. Which means Liv seeing former star-athlete and old flame Finn Dorsey. A lot happened between them that night and Liv is ready to end their decade-long riff and move on. But when her attempt at closure turns into a steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than either of them thought...

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package. The smooth face was now dusted with scruff, and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. A thousand things were in those eyes. A thousand things welled up in Liv.

My Thoughts:
Liv and Finn had a secret romance back in high school that was obliterated when a school shooting tears their lives apart. There’s more to their story than what was made public, a reality that hurt both Liv and Finn.  Twelve years later they are reunited with the other survivors, and the old raging chemistry they felt before is stirred up again, but can they get past the damage the shooting and their actions caused?

The setup here sounded amazing to me, and I’m a huge fan of Roni Loren’s work (her erotica), but somehow Liv and Finn’s romance and story didn’t really touch me.  I did enjoy the story overall, but I didn’t feel the yearning and connection that was supposedly there between them.  Also, I felt the issue keeping them apart in the long term, (Finn’s job situation) wasn’t as big of a deal as Finn was making of it.  I think when you fall in love with “the one” you find a way to make it work.  What about all the wives who live without their husbands while they’re off serving a tour in the military? They find a way, and I thought Finn could somehow adjust his duties, so they weren’t apart, so I was a bit frustrated when it took so long for him to clue in on the possibilities.

I haven’t read anything from Roni Loren I haven’t loved, so I think this might’ve been a fluke that I didn’t love it, or possibly my reading mood at the time.  I’m still a huge fan of her writing and I look forward to the next in this series, Rebecca’s story in The Ones You Can’t Forget. I felt bad for her!

3 Suns

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Publication Date: November 14th by Forever Yours
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself.
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world—or in his heart.
My Thoughts:
I was pleased one of the Mary’s from the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children got her own romance!

Mary Whitsun may have grown up in an orphanage, but she didn’t grow up without love thanks to Lady Caire and all the others running the home.  But still, the possibility of being a lady, and having a family sounds too good to be true, yet that’s what has happened to Mary.  Out on a day off she runs into the impossibly handsome Lord Henry Blackwell, and her life forever changes.

While out shopping Lord Henry Blackwell mistakes Mary for Lady Joanna the daughter of the Earl of Angrove, but quickly realizes he’s mistaken.  This woman has spunk and life, and stirs up desires in him that Joanna never has.  Henry thinks he must have discovered the lost Angrove twin, the twin who was to be his wife. 

Mary may have been hesitant at first, but as she got to know Henry and realized he wasn’t just a pretty, spoiled aristocrat, her reservations melted.  Heat and desire spark between them every time they’re close!  Henry was lovely, so I knew Mary couldn’t help but fall for him.

There’s a little mystery and danger as someone is either out to kill Henry or Mary. They’re not sure of the intended target, but when it was all revealed I felt bad for Henry and Mary. 

Once Upon a Maiden Lane is short on pages, but rich with passion and feeling.  Elizabeth Hoyt brings her characters to life with her beautiful writing, making you feel what they feel, and always delivers a sweet, happy ending! 

4 Suns

Connect with Elizabeth Hoyt:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: Hold Tight by Alexa Riley

Publication Date: October 16th 2017 by Carina Press
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

New York Times and #1 ebook bestselling author Alexa Riley returns with Hold Tight, the next novella in the For You series

A hotshot consultant hired to streamline Osbourne Corp. meets his match in Pandora Justice—the more she plays hard to get, the more he wants her.

They say that like recognizes like, and the day I looked into her deep blues, I met my other half.

Pandora Justice took over as head of security at Osbourne Corp. after her father's retirement. Eighty-hour workweeks are normal; being brushed up against by hot consultants with ridiculous names is not. And she doesn't like it. Not even one bit.

It's amazing how easily she can lie to herself.

I had to have her. Plain and simple.

The first time Pandora sees Royce in the ring—all tattoos and sinew, covered in sweat—he looks at her like he's just won more than the fight. Like he won her.

I won't play games with her. I'll wait, and it will kill me, but I'll do it for her.

Royce's cocky grin with deep dimples makes Pandora melt. Once she wanted to smack that look off his face—now all she wants to do is kiss it. For the rest of her life.

The thought of spending the rest of my life with Pandora warms the place in my chest I didn't think was alive. I've put my claim on her—she's the one, and I'm done. It's that simple.

My Thoughts:
Pandora Justice takes pride that’s she’s tough and good at her job, as head of Osborne Security she must be, but that hasn’t left much time for a personal life.  That’s okay, because unlike her twin sister, she hasn’t found anyone that sparks an interest.  That is until her cousin hires Royce to help streamline their department.  He’s handsome, cocky, and annoying, or so she keeps telling herself.  Pandora can’t stop thinking, dreaming and lusting after him, but with little experience with the opposite sex she’s a little hesitant to get involved.  There’s a bit of cat-and-mouse here, a fun sexy chase! More fun when Pandora allows herself to be caught, though!

Royce has been takes one look at Pandora and knows he has to have her.  He feels the heat between them so even though she keeps pushing him away, he’s determined to claim her. Yes, claim, lol. This is a complete alpha-hero here, but it’s fun, fantasy fiction so I’m totally okay with that! Royce and Pandora are completely unable to resist the powerful pull between them and steam up the pages all the way to a HEA!

You can always count on a smoking hot, good time when picking up Alexa Riley’s romances, and Hold Tight lives up to their reputation.  Novellas are always a fast-favorite way to satisfy my romance addiction! You might say that I do enjoy a hot quickie, lol!  Now I need to go back and read the first book in the series, Penelope (Pandora’s twin sister) and Ivan’s romance in Stay Close, because they are super cute together as side characters! 

4 Suns

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: The Rancher's Christmas Song by RaeAnne Thayne

Publication Date: November 1st 2017 by Harlequin
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Keep a song in your heart this holiday season… 
Music teacher Ella Baker's plate is already full. But when single dad Beckett McKinley's wild twin boys need help preparing a Christmas song for their father, Ella agrees on one condition: they teach her to ride a horse. She's hoping that'll help mend her strained relationship with her rancher father; it certainly has nothing to do with the crush that's lingered since her one and only date with Beck.
It isn't disinterest spurring Beck to keep his distance—if anything, the spark is too strong, with Ella reminding him of his ex-wife. Soon what started as an innocent arrangement is beginning to feel a lot like family. But with the holidays approaching, Beck and Ella will have to overcome past hurts if they want to keep each other warm this Christmas…
My Thoughts:
Music teacher Ella Baker may have been a Boston city girl, but her heart never left the family ranch in Idaho.  When her father becomes too sick to manage on his own, Ella comes back home to help, and cherish time with her father.  A strained past between them sometimes makes it hard, but Ella hopes to convince her father she’s tough and capable, eager to meet the challenges of ranching life. In the meantime, Ella has her hands full as the town’s music teacher, organizing the holiday program, and volunteering at the senior center. Another distraction is Beckett McKinley, the rancher next door, and father of two energetic, but sweet, twins.  Twin boys who happen to be in her music class. Beck is a heap of confusion.  On one hand she’s a little jealous of the admiration and closeness shared between her father and Beck, and on the other she can’t help the sparks of attraction she feels anytime he gets close. Doesn’t matter though, because Beck treats Ella with nothing but cold indifference.

Indifference is not the problem Beck has with Ella.  He struggles with overwhelming attraction every time she’s near. Beck’s under the impression that Ella is a city girl just like his ex-wife who couldn’t stand ranch life, leaving him and their (toddler!) twin boys to fend for themselves. Beck doesn’t want a repeat of that mistake.   But, when his boys offer riding lessons to Ella there’s no way to avoid her, and he finds their time together changing his initial impressions.  He knew she was smart, and beautiful, but discovering her sweet, and brave side makes him wonder if Ella just might be his dream girl after all.

The Rancher’s Christmas Song was a heartwarming delight!  Ella and Beck’s back story was sad and touching, showing the great strength each had to have to overcome the past.  As they get to know each other, the powerful attraction they’ve felt for each other blossoms into something deeper, and far more irresistible!  Oh, there’s a bit of angst in this one! Not too much, mind you, I’d hate that! Just a little bit to make the longing palpable, and real!  To make Beck and Ella’s giving in so much sweeter!

RaeAnne Thayne is a new to me writer, and I’m catching onto her appeal!  The Rancher’s Christmas Song was a heated romance filled with touching family moments that brought a tear or two to my eyes!  

4 Suns

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Publication Date: October 17th by Grand Central Publishing
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD

About the book:


Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.


Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.


Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

My Thoughts:
Iris Jordan finds herself in the middle of the Lords of Chaos latest diabolical plan when they mistake her for the Duke of Kyle’s wife and kidnap her.  Lucky for her Raphael is there, trying to infiltrate their horrid group rescues her from rape, torture, and possibly death.  These men are despicable! Unaware of Raphael’s true intentions, Iris shoots Raphael as he’s trying to get her to safety. Ooops! 

Snatching Iris away from the Lords of Chaos as his own was no easy task.  To continue the deception Raphael realizes he must marry her to keep her safe.  Which is in no way a hardship since he’s longed for Iris from afar for quite some time now.  Unfortunately, Raphael believes his tainted line must die with him and, so he plans on the marriage to be in name only. Poor Raphael. 

Iris has met Raphael before, they shared a dance and she was fascinated and maybe a little afraid of the man. Just being next to him felt dangerous and thrilling, but she never counted on marrying him!  As they get to know each other well in a short period of time, she hopes their marriage can be a love match after all.  Raphael may feel responsible for the sins of his father, but Iris has other ideas for the two of them.  She’s drawn to him and she knows he’s attracted to her even though he fights it every step of the way.  Can she dispel his fears?  Add to their dilemmas are the Lords of Chaos scheming to take them out for good.

Iris and Raphael had some obstacles to overcome with their romance, and I loved their journey!  Raphael had damage from the past, but Iris was determined to help him to see the light, and prove he was someone worthy of love and happiness. My heart ached for Raphael, so I was happy he had Iris to help with his dark times.  Raphael couldn’t resist his desire for Iris and every time they were alone they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Lusty, heated encounters between them crumbled Raphael’s resolve a little more each time.

Duke of Desire was full of passion, peril, and conflicted emotion, but wrapped up so very sweetly! I’ve read and loved the Maiden Lane series, so I’m sorry that this is the last book!  Elizabeth Hoyt’s beautiful writing made this series come alive; exciting and daring, making each book a thrilling read! I’m anxious to find out what she plans next!

4 Suns

I'm offering up a giveaway of One Book from the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt to one reader. From US Amazon, US Barnes & Noble or The Book Depository.  Winner's choice. The giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.